BSO and Baltimore School for the Arts Present Family Series Performance of The Nutcracker, Dec. 8 at the Meyerhoff

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The BSO and Baltimore School for the Arts will present a special abridged version of The Nutcracker for families on Saturday December 8 at 11 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

The BSO and Baltimore School for the Arts will present a special abridged version of The Nutcracker for families on Saturday December 8 at 11 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. This performance, led by Maestro Cristian Macelaru, will feature the music and dancing from this holiday classic with narration by Rheda Becker. Fun for ages 5 and up! See below for full performance details.

Patrons can additionally enjoy the BSO Family Fun Zone starting at 9:45 a.m. in the Meyerhoff’s lobby. Attractions include a live performance by the OrchKids, a face painter, the Music & Arts instrument petting zoo and the Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile, where parents and kids alike can learn about exotic animals.

Cristian Marcelaru, conductor
Cristian Macelaru has established an exciting and highly regarded presence through his thoughtful interpretations, poise and energetic conviction on the podium. He began his work with The Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2010-11 season and, with the orchestra’s vote in September 2011, was named Assistant Conductor. Recently, Mr. Macelaru received the 2012 Sir George Solti Emerging Conductor Award, a prestigious honor only awarded once before in the foundation’s history. In February 2012, Mr. Macelaru made his Chicago Symphony subscription debut as a replacement for Pierre Boulez with overwhelming success and rave reviews. Mr. Macelaru’s 2012-13 season brings highly anticipated debuts with Montréal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, the Windsor Symphony and the Naples Philharmonic, as well as a return to the Baltimore Symphony.

As the Founder and Artistic Director of the Crisalis Music Project, Mr. Macelaru spearheaded a program in which young musicians perform in a variety of settings, side by side with established,
renowned artists. Their groundbreaking first season produced and presented concerts featuring chamber ensembles, a chamber orchestra, a tango operetta, and collaborations with dancer Susana Collins, which resulted in a choreographed performance of Vivaldi/Piazzolla’s Eight Seasons.

An accomplished violinist from an early age, Mr. Macelaru was the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and made his Carnegie Hall debut with that orchestra at the age of 19. He also played in the first violin section of the Houston Symphony for two seasons. Formerly, he held the position of Resident Conductor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he was Music Director of the Campanile Orchestra, Assistant Conductor to Larry Rachleff and Conductor for the Opera Department. A proponent of music education, Mr. Macelaru has served as a conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony, where he also conceptualized and created a successful chamber music program.

Mr. Macelaru has participated in the prestigious conducting programs of the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, studying under David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, Oliver Knussen and Stefan Asbury. His main studies were with renowned teacher Larry Rachleff at Rice University, where he received his Master of Music degree in conducting. He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Miami.

Mr. Macelaru currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Cheryl and their son Beniamin.

Rheda Becker, narrator
Narrator Rheda Becker grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When she was seven years old her parents bought a piano and she began piano lessons. Rheda’s parents liked to sing so the whole family had a great time playing and singing all kinds of popular songs. They also enjoyed listening to recorded music. Her favorite piece was the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky – until she heard Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev. That was the best! Rheda thought that it would be the most wonderful thing in the world to be the person who narrates the story of Peter and the Wolf. So, it was really a dream come true when years later, in 1974, she appeared on stage with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as the narrator for Peter and the Wolf. Since that time, she has been the host and narrator for well over one thousand BSO concerts for young people.

Ms. Becker is recognized as one of the outstanding professionals in the specialized art of the musical narrator and has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She is recorded on the Bis label, with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, performing a narrated version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Act II.

Baltimore School for the Arts, dancers
Founded in 1980, the Baltimore School for the Arts provides students with intensive pre-professional training in the arts in the context of a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. BSA graduates go on to the most selective arts and university programs nationwide and achieve prominence in theater, film, music, dance and visual arts.

Additionally, the Baltimore School for the Arts is a catalyst for young people to explore and discover their interest for the arts through TWIGS, its highly acclaimed program that provides free after-school arts classes to more than 750 elementary and middle school students; special dance and theatre recitals for Baltimore City Public School students; family performance series; partnerships with other arts organizations; and art exhibitions.

BSO Family Concert: The Nutcracker

Cristian Macelaru, conductor
Rheda Becker, narrator
Baltimore School for the Arts, dancers

Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Selections from The Nutcracker

Tickets range from $12 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or


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Alyssa Porambo
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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